sweet corn kernels

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Also Known as
American corn, yellow corn kernels, sweet corn

Description
Corn brightens a meal. It's one of the most loved of all vegetables. Most sweet corn varieties have white or yellow kernels. The typical sweet corn variety used to be yellow, but now bi-color, a combination of yellow and white kernels, is becoming popular. So is white sweet corn. Sweet corn has an even number of kernel rows, from eight to 22.

Blanched sweet corn kernels
To blanch sweet corn on the cob, use a large stockpot partially filled with water, enough to cover several ears at a time. Bring the water to boil, and then place the corn in the boiling water. Begin timing as soon as you immerse the corn in the boiling water. Cover the pot and boil on high temperature. You may use the same boiling water two or three times. After boiling, cool the corn immediately in ice water for the same amount of time as it was boiled. Drain the corn thoroughly.
Boiled and crushed sweet corn kernels
Bring a large pot of water to bubble over high heat. Cook in batches, with husks and silks removed, adding a few ears at a time, so the water continues boiling. For fresh young corn, cook for 30 seconds-just long enough to heat the corn through; boil more mature corn for up to three minutes. Do not add salt to cooking water since that will toughen the corn. Then crush the corn coarsely or finely as required.
Boiled sweet corn kernels
To boil, bring a large pot of water to bubble over high heat. Cook in batches, with husks and silks removed, adding a few ears at a time, so the water continues boiling. For fresh young corn, cook for 30 seconds-just long enough to heat the corn through; boil more mature corn for up to three minutes. Do not add salt to cooking water since that will toughen the corn.
Crushed sweet corn kernels
Sweet Corn Kernels can be crushed as required, partially or fully using a grinder. Crushed sweet corn kernels can be used for soups or stuffing.

How to Select
Sweet corn is ready to pick when the kernels become plump and glossy; the best way to gauge ripeness is to taste a sample. Buy corn as fresh as possible. Don't buy corn that feels hot to the touch since such exposure to heat may cause deterioration. Inspect the ears when possible; by peeling back some of the husk. Look for evenly spaced, tight rows and slightly plump kernels. Reject ears with enlarged or shriveled kernels and missing rows. The silk should be dry but not brittle. Stems should be light green and moist rather than yellowed and dry. Husks should be grassy green and tender. Inspect the outer husk and for holes and other evidence of worms.

Culinary Uses

" Grilled corn, served hot, with butter or margarine, tastes yummy, but grilled corn seasoned with cumin, chili powder and a light slather of sour cream tastes great, too.
" Toss together a corn salsa with grilled corn (cut off the kernels after grilling), diced tomatoes, red onions, and roasted red peppers. Season with minced jalapeño and garlic and plenty of chopped coriander/parsley. Moisten with olive oil and fresh lime juice.
" Stir fresh corn kernels into cornbread or corn muffins to punch up the corn flavor.
" Make a southwestern-style sauté of diced onion, diced summer squash, diced sweet pepper, corn, minced garlic, and minced jalapeño, seasoned with a dash of cumin. Garnish with diced avocado and a squeeze of lime juice, or a scattering of grated smoked mozzarella. Use leftovers as a filling for tacos or quesadillas.
" Build a pretty salad of thinly sliced cucumbers, beets, and red onion on a bed of butter lettuce. Scatter corn kernels over all and dress with a lemon juice.
" Fresh corn kernels may be used as an ingredient in salads, soups, stews, casseroles, puddings, relishes, and breads.
" Fresh sweet corn is one of summer's culinary treats, whether it's sautéed, souffléed or boiled on the cob.
" Corn should be cooked and eaten soon after picking for the best taste.
" Just a ladleful of corn added to any mixed vegetable, baked dish, etc. will improve its flavour a great deal.
" Corn Bhel makes an instant and healthy snack for your kid's lunch boxes.

Cooking Don'ts
" Don't add salt to the water. It only toughens the corn when it cooks.
" Don't cool off hot corn by running under cold water. It will make the corn soggy.
" Don't overcook or the kernels will get hard and the corn will loose some of its sweet flavor

How to Store
As fresh corn ages it loses it's sweet taste, its nutrients, and it becomes starchy, tough and rather tasteless. After buying, wrap unhusked ears in a plastic bag and refrigerate until preparation time. Do not remove husks before storing fresh corn as the husks help retain freshness.

Health Benefits
" Sweet corn is a good source of folate and potassium.
" It also helps protect against age-related macular degeneration and helps fight free radicals in the retina.
" It provides more starch and more calories than most vegetables. It is also a good food for steadying blood sugar.
" It contains carotene, which acts as our defense system that kicks out any kind of disease.
" It is also a good source of many vitamins including pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate and niacin (vitamin B3).
" Corn is an excellent source of thiamin, providing one-third (32.7%) of the daily value for this nutrient in a single cup. Thiamin is an integral participant for memory




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